How to Prevent Tangles, Knots and Tears
By: Kerri Lee
Imagine a world free of knots and matted hair. Now close your eyes and picture yourself having the ability to run your comb through your client’s hair and it being free of snags, tugs and tears. Sounds pretty amazing, huh? This could be your reality if you follow these 7 tips and tricks from Master Hair Reconstructor Jeanene Barrett. She’s been a celebrity hairstylist for 10 years whose work can be seen on the runways at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and has applied her innovative de-knotting technique to some of Hollywood’s coveted celebrities.
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1. Know the Facts - Did you know that unexpected hair loss and balding can be triggered early due to incidents with unsympathetically matted and tangled hair? Yup! Hair becomes matted when it is not getting combed as needed to permit natural shedding. Loose hair can knot several times around strands, creating tangles that cause the hair to matte. When the hair is damaged, the cuticle is lifted and not smooth thus making it difficult to slide and pass each other during the combing/brushing process.
2. De-Matte the Matte – When hair is matted beyond belief, saturate the area with a lubricant to make the cuticle smoother and easier for the strands to slide pass. Barrett recommends PhytoSpecific’s Revitalizing Treatment, Jane Carter’s Hair Nourishing Serum or Hot Six Oil for lubrication. Cover hair with a conditioning cap and apply heat for 30 minutes. Depending on the damage of the hair, Barrett recommends removing the hair from heat to allow the lubricant to soak in and work through the tangles. Remember, both you and your client will need to have a lot of patience while doing this so inform her it might take a while to tackle the tangles. Grab a stack of magazine for her to flip through so she doesn’t get anxious and impatient.
3. Snip Snip – To avoid hair from matting and knotting, you need to caution your clients much like Barrett does to prevent them from taking shortcuts and putting their hair risk. The most important thing is to encourage them to get the split ends cut off regularly. This is a great opportunity for you to get her to pre-book her next appointment. This also holds true for clients with hair extension. Even they need a good trim every now and then.
4. Tool School – Make sure you and your clients are using the proper tools required for their hair type. Straight hair may need brushing while loose curls may only require a “finger brushing.” Don’t assume your client knows what a “Mason Pearson” brush is when discussing the different types of brushes and combs available for proper haircare. Take one out of your drawer and show her. You’ll be surprised how many hairdressers assume their clients know what they are talking about. Just because they are nodding their head and saying “yes” doesn’t mean they completely get it.
5. Moisture Medic – Hair gets tangled and matted when it is dry and lacking proper moisture. Give it a good drink with hydrating shampoos and conditioners that will help it maintain moisture until its next trim. It’s important to find products that contain soy isoflavones that aid in strengthening hair and maintaining scalp integrity. Make sure you are informing your clients of this. Why? Your retail area will thank you immensely when you send her home with product on hand.
6. Product Push – Speaking of products, become familiar with some of the opportunities found within nature to keep surly strands in check. Jojoba oil’s structure resembles natural sebum oil produced by the scalp, and regular use of Jojoba oil makes hair more resistant to tangles, dryness and split ends while Shea Butter’s fatty acids help prevent brittleness. You can reach out to your distributors and manufacturer representatives to see what products containing these properties are available. PS – it is also important to stick to cream-based conditioner versus gel-based.
7. Proper Prep and Procedure – It’s all about how and when you tackle the tangles. Remember to brush hair thoroughly before washing to get any loose hairs or dirt out. To prevent knots, start combing the ends of the hair and slowly move up to the roots. To prevent tangling while blow drying, use a dryer with a wide-toothed attachment blowing straight down, one section at a time. Encouraging your client to sleep on a satin pillowcase or pulling her hair back before bed will also prevent tangles from occurring. Your client will be sans tears and all smiles when you share this information with her.
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